Barriers to Healthcare Access for International Students in China


The objective of this study was to identify different barriers to healthcare access for international students in China. The study employed a cross sectional descriptive study using both qualitative and quantitative method.


A representative sample of international students of a reputed university in China completed a mail back survey having a response rate of 7.5%. Identified barriers are classified as Cognitive, Financial and Structural barriers. One third (36.9%) international students perceived their health condition in China as bad in comparison with their home countries.


More than two third of the students did not know their health insurance coverage. Around 71% students agreed that language was a barrier to health care access in China and majority of them think that interpreter service should be available at hospitals.

To improve healthcare access – formal interpreter services, translated materials, reconsideration of health insurance should be taken into account. As per our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate healthcare access barriers for international students in China. Further large scale study should be undertaken.

Author :

Dr.  M Imran Hasan, School of Medicine, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.
E-mail: [email protected].

Ishrat Jahan Mouri

Institution : University dental college Working as feature writer Memeber at DOridro charity foundation

One thought on “Barriers to Healthcare Access for International Students in China

  1. in all the universities permitted by MOE to enroll international students it is mandatory to have health insurance and university helps to get it. To the point of translator services in hospitals its not a practical approach because even in european,latin american countries you are required to have language skills in order to study or practice medicine lets take the example of germany. The problem rather lies in mentality and excessive freedom that they get. You may ask how? Students who go to china to study medicine already have a mindset that chinese professors english level is not good, however i have come across many professors and healthcare workers whos english level way better than our counterpart bd medical workers so we have to come out from this mindset. Freedom is good if you utilize it usefully however students first time going abroad loses it and utilize it in an negative way. These are my point of view after living in china for a decade for both studying and working as a medical faculty now for international students.

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